Did these classic TV stars ever direct episodes of their own shows?

The answers may surprise you!

Television directors often get overlooked. While movie directors get all the glory for their work, television is thought of more in terms of writers and producers. To some extent that makes sense. After all, TV directors have to work within certain restrictions to keep continuity from episode to episode. But that doesn’t mean they can't leave their mark.

One interesting aspect about TV directing is that the actors often get a chance at the helm, especially if the show has been on for many years.

Here are 15 classic TV stars you’ve seen in front of the camera. How many of them called the shots (literally) behind it as well?

  1. Did Alfred Hitchcock direct episodes of his namesake shows?
  2. Did Andy Griffith direct any episodes of his eponymous sitcom?
  3. Did Jack Webb direct any episodes of the 1960s Dragnet?
  4. Did Leonard Nimoy direct any episodes of Star Trek?
  5. Did Clint Eastwood direct any episodes of Rawhide?
  6. Did Alan Alda direct any episodes of M*A*S*H?
  7. Did Robert Reed ever direct any episodes of The Brady Bunch?
  8. Did Raymond Burr ever direct any episodes of Perry Mason?
  9. Did Ralph Waite ever direct any episodes of The Waltons?
  10. Did Dick Van Dyke ever direct any episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show?
  11. Did Peter Falk direct any episodes of Columbo?
  12. Did Martin Milner direct any episodes of Adam-12?
  13. Did William Conrad direct any episodes of Cannon?
  14. Did Michael Landon direct any episodes of Bonanza?
  15. Did Rod Serling direct any episodes of The Twilight Zone?

Did these classic TV stars ever direct episodes of their own shows?

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MarkSpeck 10 months ago
Leonard Nimoy may not have directed for Star Trek: TOS, but Shatner was slated to direct an episode, which never came to fruition because the series got canceled.
MarkSpeck 10 months ago
Got 'em all. One beef, though...Peter Falk did not direct two episodes of Columbo, just one. Maybe you were thinking of the episode he WROTE, which was the very last Columbo he did, "Columbo Likes the Nightlife"?
Randall 11 months ago
The Robert Reed one Floored me. The way Reed and Sherwood Schwartz got along, I am sure there were some days that Sherwood would not want him in the building!
MarkSpeck Randall 10 months ago
I'm thinking they gave him episodes to direct just to shut him up. Reed was notorious for complaining about the quality of scripts, even going so far as to change the dialogue. Sherwood Schwartz asked him nicely not to do that, telling him if there's something wrong with a script, to see him and work it out, but Reed was very headstrong.
EllisClevenger 11 months ago
You got 12 out of 15
Could you handle this quiz?
Missed #2, #4, and #11.
ELEANOR 11 months ago
Ron Howard always wanted to be a director and wished to direct some episodes of Happy Days. They could not see him as a director, so they denied him the opportunity. It was then he decided to leave the show. On Andy Griffith, there is one telling episode, one of the ones where they went to Hollywood and they are watching an episode being filmed and Ronny Howard as Opie gets up on a studio camera to look through the viewer. And it looks like he's done it a hundred times, which he probably had!
Kenner 11 months ago
Hugh Beaumont also directed several episodes of LITB. Surprised he wasn’t included in that list.
Barry22 11 months ago
12/15. George Reeves directed some episodes of Superman.
frances3agape Barry22 10 months ago
COOL trivia tidbit
frenchman71 11 months ago
I was 12/15. I would have thought since Eastwood directed a lot of his movies he would cut his teeth on his only TV show. And as I think back I think I saw Robert Reed's name as director on a couple "BB" episodes.
CaptainDunsel 11 months ago
9/15
Can someone direct me to the exit?
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CaptainDunsel texasluva 11 months ago
Time has expired... and so have you. Please... leave now.
Allison, gotta give you points for being honest and brave enough to admit that
Well thank you 😉....... I don't see any sense in lying about it 😂🤣
Ah-Ha ! Thanks for the reminder. Had forgotten who exited stage left
texasluva 11 months ago
Rhonda Fleming, 97 just passed away last week. That leaves just 19 actors left from Hitchcock films. Who are the two youngest and two oldest actors left from these films?
cperrynaples texasluva 11 months ago
Well the oldest is definitely Norman Lloyd at 106! He not only acted for Hitchcock, he produced and directed many AHPs!
texasluva cperrynaples 11 months ago
Veronica Cartwright (now 71)
Jerry Mathers (72)
Nehemiah Persoff (101)
and of course Norman Loyd
frances3agape cperrynaples 10 months ago
I always try to watch Lloyd any time he is on tv - movies and shows.
What a fascinating gent
He was a FABULOUS guest on Johnny Carson and I highly recommend watching if available.
(Hmmmmmm.... I need to check YouTube about it myself!)
Jeffrey 11 months ago
''You got 8 out of 15'' --------------Could you handle this quiz? Not too well, I guess.
Jeremy 11 months ago
The only one I missed was Ralph Waite and as far as I'm concerned, Peter Falk only directed one episode of Columbo (the last episode of the first season) and wrote another ("It's All In The Game").
Pacificsun 11 months ago
I enjoy seeing when the actors jump in to become directors. The point being, is in how they frame the shots differently. Every recurring director has a style (almost like a signature). But when someone fresh (or perhaps less experienced) steps in, naturally the perspective is going to be a bit different. They've also said (in interviews) that it can be tricky framing scenes around themselves. Not only for the logistics involved, but about being part of the shot, as opposed to seeing it more objectively.

I believe (but correct me if I'm wrong) that Hugh Beaumont directed a few LITB episodes. But if not, he did direct other projects.
BrittReid Pacificsun 11 months ago
You are correct, Hugh Beaumont directed and wrote LITB episodes.
Pacificsun BrittReid 11 months ago
Thank you! I admired him very much as an actor, and his warm touch in working with those young children!
frenchman71 Pacificsun 11 months ago
IMO, Hugh Beaumont was TV's best dad.
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